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DeVos Education Dept. Begins Dismissing Civil Rights Cases in Name of Efficiency

The changes worry civil rights groups, which point out that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has already rescinded guidances meant to protect students against sexual assaults on campuses and black and transgender students against bias.

By Erica L. Green
April 20, 2018
WASHINGTON — The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has begun dismissing hundreds of civil rights complaints under a new protocol that allows investigators to disregard cases that are part of serial filings or that they consider burdensome to the office.

Department officials said the new policy targeted advocates who flooded the office with thousands of complaints for similar violations, jamming its investigation pipeline with cases that could be resolved without exhausting staff and resources. But civil rights advocates worry that the office’s rejection of legitimate claims is the most obvious example to date of its diminishing role in enforcing civil rights laws in the nation’s schools.

Liz Hill, a spokeswoman for the Education Department, said the new provision was part of the office’s revision of its manual that lays out procedures for processing civil rights cases.

The goal of the new manual, which took effect last month, is to help the office better manage its docket, investigations and resolutions, she said.

Among the changes implemented immediately is a provision that allows the Office for Civil Rights to dismiss cases that reflect “a pattern of complaints previously filed with O.C.R. by an individual or a group against multiple recipients,” or complaints “filed for the first time against multiple recipients that” place “an unreasonable burden on O.C.R.’s resources.”

So far, the provision has resulted in the dismissal of more than 500 disability rights complaints.

Catherine E. Lhamon, who led the Office for Civil Rights under the Obama administration, said the new provision undermined the mission of the office. Unlike the Justice Department, the Education Department cannot pick and choose the cases it pursues. If the office has evidence that the law has been violated, it must open a case.

“The thing that scares me is when they get to say ‘we won’t open some cases because it’s too much for us,’ or ‘we don’t like the complainant,’ or ‘it’s not our week to work on that,’ you start to change the character of the office,” Ms. Lhamon said.

But Debora L. Osgood, a lawyer who worked for 25 years at the Office for Civil Rights and now consults with and represents schools on civil rights matters, praised the change. . . .
Recipes & Cooking / Re: Instant Pot!
« Last post by Stinky10 on Yesterday at 10:11:52 PM »
I would just stir in canned mushrooms at the end...

how did it turn out?
Recipes & Cooking / Re: Instant Pot!
« Last post by becca on Yesterday at 08:01:27 PM »
I don’t think that would matter, SL.  Canned, fresh, or whole vs sliced.
Food Allergy Recalls / Apr 19 2018: Eataly Artichoke Spread (US/NY)
« Last post by GingerPye on Yesterday at 11:14:40 AM »
April 19, 2018

Eataly USA of New York City, New York is recalling Eataly Artichoke Spread, because it may contain undeclared walnuts. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to walnuts run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.
Eataly Artichoke Spread was distributed in New York City sold at Eataly Flatiron, located at 200 5th Avenue, New York, 10010.
The product us packed in a plastic container and has a front and back label. The front label says “Eataly artichoke spread” nt wt.7 oz. 200g, UPC: 612067. The back label lists the ingredients and mentions the expiration date of 05.12.
The problem was found by a costumer who is allergic to nuts. He did not encounter any illness, but had a light allergic reaction. The customer declined to fill out the Eataly incident form and just wanted to bring the seriousness of what happened to our attention. Subsequent investigation indicates that the problem was caused by a temporary breakdown in the packaging process.
Consumer who have purchased the product need to be aware that it contains walnuts as an ingredient. For customer who are not allergic to walnuts, the product is totally safe.
Consumers who have purchased Eataly Artichoke Spread are urged to return it to the Eataly NYC Flatiron. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-201-875-0606, Monday – Friday, 10:00am – 5:00pm.
Recipes & Cooking / Re: Instant Pot!
« Last post by SilverLining on April 19, 2018, 02:53:33 PM »
Making a stew tonight. Anyone know if canned mushrooms can be added? Would it matter whether they were whole or sliced?
Fish/Shellfish Allergy / Re: are these crustaceans safe to eat with a shrimp allergy?
« Last post by Teri1 on April 19, 2018, 12:47:03 AM »
rebekahc  yes those are from the skin test, I never got the test papers back from the blood food allergy test, but the doctor did tell me that for that test, shrimp and only shrimp,did come up and told me that I did not need an epipen for it but to just avoid eating it and I should be fine. so Im assuming it may not have been serious? I dunno doctors here in California are weird.

I want to get the blood test redone anyway. and will post that here when I do.

I go back for another immunotherapy shot next month so Ill ask to get the blood test redone.
Recipes & Cooking / Re: Instant Pot!
« Last post by becca on April 18, 2018, 11:30:29 PM »
Lol!  How about that!  It really does do everything.
Thanks, Mac, I was just going by the test links posted. It's been a while since I've seen our blood test results. I know it was RAST and then CapRAST. I didn't remember they had dropped the RAST from the name on the lab reports.

Teri, do you have your blood test results you can also post?  I agree that you should have an EpiPen for a shrimp allergy. I hope you can get one from your allergist as well as instructions on when to use it and how to best avoid a reaction.
RC, I think Teri1 said she had both a blood and a skin prick test. I’m guessing the blood test results are separate. I know none of the testing that we’ve had in 19 years has actually said “RAST.”  It’s said ImmunoCAP.

If you are allergic to shrimp, you do need an EpiPen. 
Ok, those results are from a skin prick test - not a blood test. I don't see where they tested you for shrimp, specifically, though? 

The first page you posted shows that they tested you for some typical environmental allergens. Most of your results were smaller than the histamine control except for the dust mite ones which were the same size, so it's most likely your 'worst' allergy, but your wheal size was still pretty small. The numbers represent the size of the wheal (the hive like bump) and the flare (redness around the wheal) in millimeters. 

The sheet they gave you about oral allergy syndrome is because sometimes when we're allergic to one thing (like a pollen or a dust mite), our bodies will mistake a similarly shaped pollen or a similar protein in something we eat and cause oral symptoms - especially during that pollen season when our bodies are already on high alert. So, for example, I'm allergic to ragweed. If I eat melons my mouth itches and my lips swell up. If you test me, I'm not allergic to melons, but my body mistakes the melon for ragweed pollen. There's a chance your dust allergy could make you have some oral symptoms when you eat shrimp even if you're not allergic to shrimp, but it's not real likely. There are a lot of people with dust allergies who tolerate shrimp just fine.  It may just be something to be aware of, but not worry too much about unless you want to avoid shellfish if you're having a lot of allergy symptoms around that time.  Of course that's assuming you don't have a shrimp allergy (basing that just on the skin test results you posted).

The last page you posted was the food allergy skin testing and the only thing measured was the histamine control. You did not test allergic to any foods. And they definitely did not test you for separate types of shellfish on that test - just a general shellfish mix.

Edited for added clarity.
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